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NRCS Activities: Using the Monitoring Framework. Presentation for Office of Management and Budget March 26, 2003. Thomas W. Christensen, Director Animal Husbandry & Clean Water Programs Natural Resources Conservation Service. NRCS Activities: Using the Monitoring Framework.

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nrcs activities using the monitoring framework
NRCS Activities: Using theMonitoringFramework

Presentation for

Office of Management and Budget

March 26, 2003

Thomas W. Christensen, Director

Animal Husbandry & Clean Water Programs

Natural Resources Conservation Service

nrcs activities using the monitoring framework2
NRCS Activities: Using theMonitoringFramework
  • NRCS Perspective
  • Approach to Conservation
  • Planning Procedure Complements Framework
  • Case Study – Upper Potomac River
  • Performance-Based Efforts
nrcs perspective
NRCS Perspective
  • Mission : Provide leadership in a partnership effort to help people conserve, maintain, & improve natural resources and the environment.
  • NRCS Does Not Monitor – We cooperate, collaborate, and communicate with monitoring entities.
slide4

A Coordination Model for Federal Activities to Achieve Enduring Natural Resource Conservation and Environmental Protection

  • Research
  • CSREES
  • ARS
  • ERS
  • FS
  • EPA
  • USGS
  • FWS
  • NOAA
  • Technical Assistance
  • CSREES
  • FS
  • NRCS
  • EPA
  • USGS
  • FWS
  • NOAA
  • Information
  • All Agencies
  • Education
  • CSREES

SUSTAINABLE WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT

  • Financial Assistance
  • FSA
  • FS
  • NRCS
  • EPA
  • FWS
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • EPA
  • USGS
  • NOAA
  • Regulatory Compliance & Oversight
  • EPA
  • FWS
  • USACE
  • Natural Resources Inventories
  • FS
  • NRCS
  • FWS
  • NOAA
usda approach to conservation
USDA Approach to Conservation
  • Voluntary, incentive-based approach
  • Science-based, site-specific solutions
  • Partnership with locally led processes
  • Adaptive management
  • Regulation serves a complementary role - “Bad Actors”
nrcs planning procedure complements framework
NRCS Planning Procedure Complements Framework
  • Identify problems
  • Determine objectives
  • Inventory resources
  • Analyze resource data
  • Formulate alternatives
  • Evaluate alternatives
  • Make decisions
  • Implement the plan
  • Evaluate the plan
slide7

NRCS Planning Procedure Complements Framework

  • NRCS Planning Procedure and the Monitoring Framework ENABLE Adaptive Management

Implement Conservation Practices & Systems

Evaluate Effectiveness

Adapt/ Adjust/ Modify

Conservation Practices & Systems

case study west virginia upper potomac river basin
Case Study – West Virginia Upper Potomac River Basin
  • 2.2 million acres
  • 1,700 miles of mostly high quality streams
  • Intensive animal agriculture = beef + poultry
  • 100% increase in poultry produced 1993-96
  • Effective monitoring verified high nutrient loads, sediment, pathogens
case study west virginia upper potomac river basin9
Case Study – West Virginia Upper Potomac River Basin
  • Locally Identified Concerns:
    • Water quality (algal blooms, fecal bacteria, etc.)
    • Limited land availability for nutrient application
    • Stream health and impacts on tourism (outdoor recreation) and trade
    • Economic and environmental viability of farms
case study west virginia upper potomac river basin10
Case Study – West Virginia Upper Potomac River Basin
  • Funding Sources:
    • PL-534 - one of 11 projects authorized
    • EQIP, CRP
    • State Revolving Loan Funds
    • 319 Grants
  • Watershed Efforts:
    • Voluntary, incentive-based programs began in 1993
    • TMDL developed in 1996 (fecal coliform)
case study west virginia upper potomac river basin11
Case Study – West Virginia Upper Potomac River Basin
  • Outcomes:
    • 85% landowner participation
    • Livestock waste and poultry litter managed under 10 year contracts
    • Monitoring revealed that compliance expectations were met or exceeded
    • De-listing of streams for fecal coliform in 2002
performance based efforts
Performance-Based Efforts
  • Improve performance measurement and reporting
  • Validate environmental outcomes of conservation programs
  • Improve understanding of water resources
    • Define appropriate measures
    • Complexity of natural systems
    • Lag time – measurable results may take decades
performance based efforts13
Performance-Based Efforts

Conservation Assessment Effects Project (CEAP)

  • Purpose - To assess benefits/outcomes of implementing conservation programs
  • Tools –
    • National Resources Inventory (NRCS)
    • Farmer and rancher information (NASS)
    • Soil and water quality models (ARS, NRCS)
    • Small watershed monitoring/modeling (ARS, others)
performance based efforts14
Performance-Based Efforts
  • CEAP will use the Framework to
    • Collaborate, coordinate, communicate with others
    • Ensure scientifically credible measurement methods are used
    • Meet the project goal of reporting annually on the benefits of conservation programs and systems